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Junta wants a dummy run of foreign tourists arriving and health ID cards

File photo of cars outside North African ferry offices near Algeciras.
File photo of cars outside North African ferry offices near Algeciras. / AFP
  • The regional government wants to copy a Balearics test with Germans and find a solution to the annual exodus of North Africans across the Strait

The Junta regional government has said that it wants Andalucía to be on the front foot in welcoming back the first foreign tourists to Spain by running a pilot scheme similar to the one planned on the Balearic Islands.

Ahead of Spain reopening its borders on 1 July, almost 11,000 German tourists staying a minimum of five nights will be allowed to the Balearics in the second half of June as a test to see how well facilities and staff working in tourism can cope.

The Health minister, Salvador Illa, said this week that other regions could request the same permission if they wanted to.

Andalucía's deputy president and regional minister for Tourism, Juan Marín, said, "We should have the same chances and opportunities."

In separate comments, Marín has also said that the Junta is in favour of foreign arrivals carrying a form of health passport or ID card, proving they do not have coronavirus.

The regional government has been particularly worried about the upcoming annual migration by road and ferry of North Africans from their European homes to visit family on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar. Some 3.5 million people made the return journey each July and August via seaports in Andalucía, especially Algeciras and Tarifa.

The idea of a health passport came after opposition parties said that the original proposal, to suspend the huge 'Operation Crossing the Strait' (Operación Paso del Estrecho) was racist.

The Junta has also called for illegal migrants recently entering by boat to be forced to spend the curent 14-day quarantine period in isolation after cases of Covid-19 were found among them .